Shirtless Running: Pros & Cons

Is it acceptable to go running without a top on? My instinctive reaction is, OF COURSE IT IS SHUT UP! However, there are times and places, where whipping your top off and jogging around, might not be in the best taste.
Of course, the choice is always yours, and, as a man, there’s nothing to stop you from taking your top off or leaving it at home when you head out for a run. But here are a few guidelines that most tend to agree upon.

1. Where to run shirtless

Copyright: lizardfilms / 123RF Stock Photo

Shirtless running is most popular in less-populated areas. It has a wild, naturist vibe to it which seems out-of-place and a bit in-your-face in busy, urban environments. So if you’re going for a run out in the countryside, along the beach, or perhaps even around a big city park, then, by all means, strip off.

If you’re going for a run along the Southbank or through a major city, it’s going to be a bit too much and you’re likely to get some looks which could distract you or cause some awkward situations. (Opt for a skin-tight running top or vest instead, being sure to show as much skin as possible without going topless).

Note: Shirtless running is NOT an option when you’re at the gym. Even if one of the staff members doesn’t admonish you, even if you look amazing and wanna take some great gym selfies (tag us on Insta @gayfitnessuk), you shouldn’t be running on a treadmill with your top off. Just no. Soz.

If everyone in a sweaty room is walking around topless, that room stretches the definition of “gym.”

2. Running free

Apart from the perv factor, running without a top on is incredibly freeing, making the whole miserable act a lot more enjoyable (can you tell I’m not a runner?). Stripping down your body clutter not only feels great but can help you concentrate more on your form. With less material in the way, your arm-pumping action is less constrained and can help improve your running technique.

If you have forgotten how to pump your arms then I suggest you run shirtless.

3. It’s cooler to run shirtless

In both senses of the word. No matter how efficient your sweat-wicking workout clothes are, they’ll never be as good at cooling you down as exposing your skin to a cool breeze. Sweat evaporates quicker, keeping your skin temperature more comfortable.

4. Wear sunscreen

Working on your tan while you run is one thing, but forgetting that those parts of your body don’t see as much sunlight as the rest of you can be dangerous. If you’re going for a run in the sun without your top on, be sure to apply some sweat-resistant sunscreen before heading out. A hot body running in the sun is decidedly less sexy when it’s slowly turning bright pink.

5. Body confidence

This one could go either way. If you’re 100% happy with how your body looks when it is uncovered and in motion, then mate, take it off! We bloody love a shirtless runner and until anyone says otherwise, we encourage you to get as naked as possible at every opportunity.

However, if you’re not 100% comfortable bolting through crowds with your top off, then don’t do it. It will most definitely distract you from your workout, making you run faster to avoid lingering in front of people or take a different route to avoid crowds. It may cause you stress and have you constantly wondering what passers-by are thinking. If that’s the case, then it’s not worth it.

You have nothing to prove, you look amazing, pop on whatever feels comfortable and go enjoy your run.

If you want more tips and ideas for the gym, don’t forget to subscribe to our Weekly Workout Newsletter for weekly workouts (obvs). Or better yet, book in some time with a gay personal trainer who can guide you through your fitness journey.